by Larry Fyffe
Nothing To It
& tolstoy - all right then - what my work is - is merely picking up where they left off - nothing more (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Apparently, it’s really nothing to carry on, at least according to the rather foggy poetic diction below into which rides our “cowboy angel”.
Leo Tolstoy pens “War and Peace,” a fictionalized rendering of Napoleon’s actual invasion of Russia:
Of war and peace the truth just twists Its curfew gull just glides Upon four-legged forest clouds The cowboy angel rides (Bob Dylan: Gates Of Eden)
The translated quote below, be at the end of “The Gambler” ~ a book by another Russian writer:
" ... later i left the Casino with one hundred & seventy gulden in my pocket - it's the absolute truth!" - fyodor dostoevsky (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Inferred above is that what you need to win in life is to first have the courage to make the bet:
Well, I knew I was young enough And I knew there was nothing to it 'Cause I'd already seen it done enough And I knew there was nothing to it (Jim James et al: Nothing To It ~ Bob Dylan)
Another Russian author comes along; this time a modernist playwright whose dark-humored dramas introduce characters who have desires ~ albeit suppressed~ about which they speak inferentially.
For Anton Chekov, the trick in life is to reconcile lofty romantic sentiments with stone-cold reality – as best that one is able.
His writings and literary symbolism go together:
I shall always remember you as I saw you that bright day … you wore your light dress, and we talked together, and the white gull lay on the bench beside us
(Anton Chekov: The Lake Gull ~ translated)
Though time moves on – ie, the wilderness passes, youth passes –
Our conservation was short and sweet It nearly knocked me of of my feet .... Bird on the horizon, sitting on the fence He's singing his song for me at his own expense And I'm just like that bird, oohh Singing just for you (Bob Dylan: You're A Big Girl Now)
From out of the Blakean poem beneath springs “Home On The Range”, a song that depicts the Old West of America as an Edenic paradise on earth:
I love these wild flowers in this bright land of ours I love , too, the curlew's wild scream The bluffs of white rocks, and antelope flocks That graze on the hillsides so green (Brewster Higley: The Western Home)
Gather what you can from author Leo Tolstoy, from post-modernist word-twists, and from pure coincidence ~ in the song lyrics below.
Also, there’s the possible playful ‘fore’, ‘forer’, and ‘forest’:
Of war and peace the truth just twists It's curfew gull just glides Upon four-legged forest clouds The cowboy angel rides (Bob Dylan: Gates Of Eden)
Poet William Blake engraves visions that tightly combine the spiritual and physical aspects of the mysterious Universe.
In the Dylan quote above, the two cosmic planes are congealed into somewhat-updated word-images which are carried solumnly along by the accompanying music.
Similarly so in the book “Tarantula” by Bob Dylan; but of course without any accompanying “music” ~ except for the ways the sounds of the words are put together to create rhythm, onomatopoeia, assonance, dissonance, consonance, alliteration, and all.
As in the following quote:
(T)here's no liquor in the land that can stop your brain from bleedin (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Dylan’s “Gates Of Eden” crosses the path of the paradisal “Home On The Range”, a version of that song made well-known by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy “angel”; then owner of the “California Angels” baseball team.
Below, akin to the early version of the range (Autry, on the other hand, leaves out the white swan):
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along Like a maid in a heavenly dream (Frank Sinatra: Home On The Range~ Higley, Kelley, et. al.)
The range also crosses the path of the following ballad: And the swan on the river goes gliding by The swan on the river goes giding by (Bob Dylan: The Ballad Of The Gliding Swan ~ Dylan/Jones)
Anyway, the cowboy angel’s rendition goes:
Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam Where the deer and the antelope play .... How often at night when the heavens are bright With the light from the glittering stars Have I stood there amazed, and asked as I gazed If their glory exceeds that of ours (Gene Autry: Home On The Range ~ Higley, Kelley, et.al.)
Actor Alan Hale plays “Tiny”, Gene Autry’s cowboy sidekick ~ a couple of times on screen.
But apparently, things have changed:
Tiny - I met her at an outrageous party .... & she's got a new boyfriend now & he looks like machine gun kelly (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)